Posts Tagged ‘simulation’

Allison Grant

Published June 11, 2009 by Graham

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Allison Grant’s photography weaves together natural landscapes and synthetic materials. It can often be disorienting trying to discern the origin of Grant’s images: is this a piece of black tin foil, or a strip-mined mountain? Where Semâ Bekirovic underlines the contrast between human-made objects and natural ones, Grant obscures it, hinting at the places in which they coalesce. This seems less of an attempt to reconcile our disposable culture with the natural world and more like an ominous warning that we may have forgotten the difference. From her artist statement:

In the face of environmental crisis, we have come to realize that our human-made products may outlast nature as we know it. In contradiction to this awareness, advertisers and organizations have responded to the green movement by increasingly using photographs and other representations of nature that evoke an unattainable ideal. Using illusion, I allude to the wide spread simulation of nature in our built environments and image culture, and the simultaneous deterioration of wilderness in reality. Tensions between fact and facsimile, nature and artificiality, and permanence and disposability can be found in my photographs. This echoes the wilderness of our modern existence: constructed, idealized, mediated, and, therefore, inaccessible.

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His Ceiling Hung with Vines

Published May 2, 2009 by Graham

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Over the past three weeks, a forest has crept into the Machine Project gallery in Los Angeles. A white-walled room in the middle of Echo Park’s stucco strip has been transformed into a veritable fertile valley. Conceived and installed by Christy McCaffrey and Sara Newey, the geniuses responsible for putting a speed metal guitarist performing under a gothic arch on the roof of LACMA, The Forest is an interactive simulated space that has hosted moonlit poetry readings, ghost stories, and birdsong identification workshops.

I took a blanket and a memory foam pillow to the forest last weekend for “Music to Nap By,” a profoundly relaxing performance by artist Brian Crabtree of the Catskill Mountains-based design team Monome. Staring up at the canopy of disconnected branches above, it was all too easy to block out the city and accept the artificial ambiance, reveling in the mechanical chirps and soothing bird calls that were accentuated by the accompaniment of Crabtree’s beautifully meandering tones. Check out The Forest before it gets cut down on Friday, April 24th.